I will admit that the minute I heard the word prompt, my mind was all over the place. In fact, at one point, my head was full of a mashup of three different songs: the hymn "Jesus Christ is Risen Today," Matt Mahrer's "Rise Up" and Shawn MacDonald's "Rise." Now try to make sense of all of that! And besides the mashed up tune in my head, I was reminded of the theme for the ELCA National Youth Gathering this summer "Rise Up."
The Theological statement for the Gathering reminds us that the youth and adult leaders in Detroit will "learn that to 'rise up'; doesn't mean pursuing power or victory over another, but choosing weakness over power so that they might be together. The experience of death and life held together on the way is the "beginning of the good news;" it is God’s narrative into which we are inviting young people, and in which we hope young people will nest their own stories.
And as I contemplate this statement, I realize it is a word that we all should listen to and follow. We all need to learn that to 'rise up' means that we need to stop pursuing power or victory over another, but choosing weakness over power so that they might be together. When you weep, I will weep with you. When you rejoice, I will rejoice with you. When you are in the depths of death, I will sit with you. When you are afraid, I will remind you that you are not alone. Because together we are stronger than we are apart. Jesus calls us to 'rise up' together.
Jesus was the first one to show us what it means to 'rise up'. Jesus died on the cross for us. But then after three days, he rose from the dead. The ultimate example of what it looks like when we 'rise up' together. We see that life not death has the final word! God has the ultimate power to overcome death. "Easter says you can put death in the grave, but it won't stay there." (Clarence W. Hall)
"Yes I will rise; Out of these
Because many times we will feel like we don't have the power or the energy to rise up, but the truth is that God always has that power. God always will raise his Son from the dead. God always will have the ultimate power over death. God's love always breaks into God's kingdom here on earth.
Rise Up --Matt Mahrer
*This is where my five minutes ended!